Follow Us:

National Dental Hygienist Week: What Does Your Dental Hygienist Do?

National Dental Hygienist Week: What Does Your Dental Hygienist Do?

A dental hygienist plays a critical role in the operations of a dentist's office. When you come in for your bi-annual dental cleaning, a dental hygienist is the one responsible for cleaning your teeth, not your dentist. Your dentist typically visits you after your cleaning with your dental hygienist to perform their exam. A dental hygienist can also treat minor oral health conditions such as sealing cracks in teeth. They will also be able to give you advice on how to correctly care for your oral health and can determine if there are signs of disease or other oral health problems that need to be addressed by your dentist.

Primary Responsibilities Of A Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist primarily works with preventative treatments and education, teaching patients how to prevent plaque from building up on their teeth to avoid gum disease and tooth decay. They also professionally clean your teeth with scaling and polishing techniques and often take x-rays for the dentist. During your teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will also be examining your teeth and gums for irregularities and signs of decay, adding to patient charts, and maintaining the tools and equipment used during cleaning. Other responsibilities of a dental hygienist may include:

  • Perform routine teeth restorations, assist in extractions, and provide post-extraction oral care instructions
  • Take dental impressions
  • Consult with dentists on patient care
  • Refer patients to other dental professionals

Skills And Qualifications Of A Dental Hygienist

Outside of education requirements, a dental hygienist must present these additional skills: 

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Reliable and responsible
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Hand-eye coordination

To practice as a dental hygienist in Canada, you must take a dental hygiene diploma course or bachelor's program. Studies include oral and clinical science as well as preventative health skills completed within three years. Once you have completed the program, you can now be licensed by your provincial dental hygiene regulatory authority to practice. Dental hygienists are also required to complete continuing education courses annually to keep compliant with current quality assurance requirements.

Book A Dental Exam And Learn How To Become A Dental Hygienist

Becoming a dental hygienist is an excellent career path for those who are passionate about helping others achieve better oral health and overall well-being. It is both rewarding and challenging work as you will be responsible for patients' oral health while assisting the dentist with other important duties such as conducting x-rays. There will likely never be a dull moment in your career as a dental hygienist. This is fulfilling work, knowing that at the end of each day, you have helped multiple people start on the path to good oral health.

Need some career advice on your next dental exam visit? If you are in need of a dental cleaning and dental exam and are looking for some career advice regarding dentistry and becoming a dental hygienist, book an appointment with Dr.Korol today by calling 1-403-245-9099, or by filling out our online contact form. Our dental office is a leading holistic and biocompatible dental practice in Calgary that offers dental services such as cleanings, teeth whitening, Invisalign treatments, and more. Book your appointment to get advice from Calgary’s leading holistic dentist Dr.Korol.


Q: How often should I visit the dentist for a dental cleaning?
A: The Canadian Association of Dentistry recommends patients visit their dentist once every six months.

Q: How long is the schooling to become a dental hygienist? 
A: For a diploma or bachelor program, it takes three years to complete.

Q: Is a dental hygienist able to extract teeth?
A: No they are not. They can assist the dentist during the procedure but they cannot conduct it on their own.

What Sets Us Apart

What Sets Us Apart

Dr. Jackie Korol is passionate about providing outstanding dental care! She completed her dental studies in 2011 and has since committed to providing Calgarians with the care and the most up-to-date dental products and technology. Dr. Korol is dedicated to safe and mercury-free dentistry, with Dr. Korol Dentistry as a leading holistic and biocompatible dental practice.


Questions? Comments? Call us today at 1-403-245-9099 or fill out the form below:

Have Questions? Call Us Today At

Call Us

Request An Appointment
TopGeneral DentistryCosmetic DentistryEmergencyCall Us
TopGeneral DentistryCosmetic DentistryEmergencyCall Us